Druze residents of Majdal Shams in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights set ablaze makeshift ballot papers during a protest.
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An election poster at the entrance to Majdal Shams in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights offers a rare reminder that the Druze community is about to vote for the first time in more than 50 years. As across Israel, the residents of this mountainous region will have the chance to cast their ballots on Oct. 30 for their local councils.But for the Druze of the Golan plateau these elections are different and far more controversial.Now many fear the push for a vote the first since Israeli tanks rolled in represents just another bid by the Jewish state to try to legitimize its control.The majority of the 23,000 Druze in the occupied Golan have never opted to become Israeli citizens, according to Saleh.Where once Druze from the region dreamt of going to study or work in Syria, now the seven-year conflict has seen more and more youths turn their hopes toward Israel out of pragmatism.
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